July 15, 2019

Around the nation: Ohio hospital announces leadership changes after investigation into painkiller overdose deaths

Daily Briefing

    The announcement comes five weeks after a former physician at Mount Carmel Health System pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of 25 palliative care patients, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Massachusetts, and Ohio,

    • California: A phishing attack on March 28 exposed the personal information of 14,591 Los Angeles County patients. The exposed information includes patients' names, addresses, medical record numbers, and Medi-Cal identification numbers. Two patients also had their Social Security numbers exposed, according to county officials. The phishing attack occurred when an employee of Nemadji Research, a Los Angeles County Department of Health Services contractor, opened an email that granted the hacker access to the company's data. So far, there are no signs that any patient information was misused (Drees, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/10).

    • Massachusetts: Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital successfully reduced the number of calories purchased by employees by adding red, yellow, and green labels to its cafeteria food, according to a study published last week in JAMA Network Open. For the study, researchers put green labels on the "healthiest foods" in the cafeteria, yellow labels on the "less healthy" foods, and red labels on the "unhealthiest" foods, according to Becker's Hospital Review. The researchers used employee ID numbers to track staff's food purchases for two years after implementation of the system and found that the labels were associated with a decrease in the number of calories purchased by employees (Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/13).

    • Ohio: Mount Carmel Health System on Thursday announced that it is changing leadership and firing 23 additional employees following its investigation into excessive painkiller doses. Last month, William Husel, a former physician with Mount Carmel, pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of 25 palliative care patients whom authorities say Husel administered deliberate overdoses of painkillers. The employees who were most recently fired include five members of the physician, nursing, and pharmacy management teams, according to Mount Carmel President and CEO Ed Lamb. One employee is still on administrative leave, and 11 of the employees will be given the chance to return to work if they complete additional training (AP/Modern Healthcare, 7/11).

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